Get acquainted with The Strumbellas at the Ottawa Folk Festival

September 3rd, 2014 by  |  Published in Interviews

The Strumbellas- promo - photo credit Heather Pollock

Photo credit: Heather Pollock

“I’m just out for a walk. It’s a beautiful day. It’s sunny. It’s hot. I’m literally walking past my childhood house.” And so began my conversation with Simon Ward, vocalist and guitarist for The Strumbellas.

The band has had a busy and exciting year since releasing their latest album We Still Move on Dance Floors in October of last year. On the strength of that offering, the group garnered a Juno (2014 Roots & Traditional Album Of The Year), a SiriusXM Indies award (Folk Group Of The Year) and made this year’s Polaris Music Prize Long List.

I asked Simon how he felt about the accolades bestowed upon the band. “It’s fantastic! It feels great, but the job isn’t over. It makes you feel good, but also like you have to grow more, make a better record.”

The band is just back from the west coast where they completed a 7 week tour in support of the album. “I’m enjoying some downtime. I can’t sit around too long or I get stir crazy. I’m working on some music.”

I asked if it was too soon to start talking about the next album. “No, it’s not too soon. I’m writing every day. After the US we’ll probably look at getting into the studio.”

The Strumbellas have some shows under their belt in the US. “I think we had a mixed reception. I had zero expectations for it. Would there be three people there? Will we get more? We definitely had people out. It exceeded my expectations.” A more extensive tour is coming up this fall that will take the group as far south as Texas.

Being on tour and living out of a suitcase can take it’s toll. As Simon shared, “I have a hard time with the road sometimes. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. It’s really hard sometimes. Finding the balance. I have a family and the kids make it harder being away. Don’t get me wrong, we have some great times on the road. I think it would be easier if i didn’t have kids.”

Prior to their US dates, The Strumbellas will be in Ottawa for the Ottawa Folk Festival. “Festivals are the pinnacle of what we do. Big crowds of people gathered for the love of music and sharing.” As he spoke, I heard a common theme with some of the other artists I’ve spoken with. “I love the whole vibe of the festival scene. They treat you well, they take care of you. I get to tour with the family. They even treat my kids well.”

You can hear The Strumbellas for yourself Saturday September 13th on the Hill Stage at 8:30pm. Until then, check out We Still Move on Dance Floors and see what the fuss is all about. You’ll be glad you did!

The Strumbellas at the Ottawa Folk Festival
Saturday September 13th 2014
Hill Stage


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